Kenya extends curfew, ramp up vaccination to contain Covid-19


Nairobi, June 30 (IANS) Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday announced extension of night curfew by 60 days while pledging to ramp up vaccination against Covid-19 amid surges in western parts of the country.

Speaking at a televised address in the capital Nairobi, Kenyatta said extension of Covid-19 restrictions including night curfews, a ban on public gatherings and limited attendance to houses of worship, will boost efforts to contain the pandemic, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Kenyatta said that night curfew in 13 western Kenyan counties deemed the newest coronavirus hotspots will be maintained from 7 p.m to 4 a.m. until July 31.

He said that curfew in the rest of the country will be observed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. for the next two months while houses of worship are expected to adhere to one third physical attendance capacity rule.

Kenyatta said the ban on political gatherings shall remain in force for the next 60 days as the country grapples with virus surges that have slowed down flattening of the curve.

He said all visitors to Kenya will be required to be in possession of a negative Covid-19 test certificate acquired not more than 96 hours prior to their arrival in the country.

The Kenyan leader said that the hospitality industry will be required to adhere to public health protocols aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus while the number of attendance to funerals, weddings and traditional rites of passage will not exceed 100 persons.

He said that visits to hospitals will be limited to one person for every admitted patient as Kenya intensifies efforts to turn a corner on Covid-19 pandemic since the first case was reported in the country in mid-March 2020.

Kenyatta said that the government aimed to vaccinate 10 million adults by December, adding that it had established capacity to inoculate 150,000 people daily from August.

He said that Kenya has negotiated for 13 million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson while the first consignment will be delivered in August.

“Using these vaccines and others in the pipelines, this is how we will vaccinate over 10 million Kenyans by Christmas 2021 and 26 million by the end of 2022,” said Kenyatta.

He said the government planned to vaccinate an additional four million young adults by June 2022 if a vaccine for underage population is registered soon, adding that the ultimate goal is to inoculate 30 million people and achieve herd immunity.

Kenyatta said that Kenya plans to set up a plant for filling and packaging Covid-19 vaccines to pave the way for its deployment to other African countries.

The Covid-19 caseload in Kenya rose to 183,603 on Tuesday after 719 people tested positive to the virus from a sample size of 7,608 while cumulative fatalities stood at 3,621.

Total recoveries from the virus stood at 125,388 while the number of vaccines administered in the country stood at 1,334,749 as of Tuesday.


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